Rev. Bill Sinkford
Senior Minister

The Rev. Dr. William G. Sinkford, Senior Minister, was called to First Church in 2010. He is the principal spiritual leader of the church as well as having overall management responsibility for its operation. Bill, as he prefers to be called, is well known for his service as President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (2001-2009). … Continued

Rev. Thomas Disrud
Associate Minister

Rev. Thomas Disrud was called to serve as Associate Minister of Portland’s First Unitarian Church in 1995. In that position, he was principally the chief administrator of the church, responsible for supervising the staff and the wide variety of church programs and activities. He also oversees the pastoral care ministry, which includes working with a … Continued

T.J. FitzGerald
Summer Minister

T. J. began the formation process for ministry within the UU movement in response to the call he felt to be part of a way that real, tangible change in the world can be accomplished. He graduated in May, 2016 from Yale Divinity School where he participated in and led the “UUs@YDS” group and planned … Continued

Adult Programs

Cassandra Scheffman
Associate Director of Adult Programs

Cassandra moved to Portland from her native Sonoran Desert region of Arizona and joined our staff in 2013. With a personal and professional background in environmental and animal advocacy, social justice, and progressive education, she enjoys dividing her time between the Adult Programs department and the Social Justice programs of our church. She is a … Continued

Learning Community

Cathy Cartwright-Chow, C.R.E
Learning Community Director

Cathy Cartwright serves at our Director of Family Ministries. She comes from a background in community organizing: As a young adult in the ‘70s, she worked alongside other activists in Dayton Ohio, doing the good work of consciousness-raising around human rights issues, such as South African apartheid and discrimination against working women. Her undergrad was in … Continued

Nicole Bowmer
Associate Director of Family Ministries

Nicole Bowmer has been a member of the church staff since 2006. As a writer and activist, she brings a diverse background in environmental and social justice organizing. Nicole coordinates the programming for our middle and high school youth, and she is a trainer of facilitators for the Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education curriculum. … Continued

Music and Arts

DeReau Farrar
Director of Music

DeReau joined First Unitarian Church of Portland in July of 2016 as Acting Music Director. He was named our permanent Director of Music in March of 2017.  DeReau came to us from Southern California where he served as Director of Music for Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, Choir Director for First Unitarian Church … Continued

John Boelling
Assistant Director of Music

John first came to sing at First Unitarian Portland as a tenor section leader in 1998 and has been involved ever since. After spending all of last year in South America with his family, he is back as the director of the UU Women’s Choir and the Assistant Director of the Chalice Choir. John also … Continued

Ellie Hodder
Director of Handbell Programs

Ellie holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music, Potsdam, New York, an advanced teaching certificate from new York State and Masters of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinios University, Carbondale. She has served as an instructor and clinician at regional handbell events, founded the Pacific Northwest Handbell Directors’ forum, a … Continued

Dustin Hunley
Director of Children's Choirs

Dustin Hunley, pianist, vocalist, music director, educator, composer and arranger has performed for almost 20 years as a professional musician with a variety of jazz, popular, funk, and commercial groups. He currently performs regularly with Portland’s best jazz musicians at its top venues.  He is also the Director of Children’s Choirs of the First Unitarian … Continued

Signe Lusk
House Pianist

Signe Lusk was the first accompanying major at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied on scholarship with Marta Bracchi La Roux.  She then studied in Germany through the University of Oregon Studies Abroad.  After returning to the US, she worked for the Oregon Symphony and Portland Opera.  She also worked for Seattle … Continued

Joseph O’Donnell
House Organist

Joe has served as organist of First Unitarian Church of Portland for almost thirteen years. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Music in Organ and Master of Liturgical Music from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. While in Washington he served on the music staff at the Basilica of the National Shrine … Continued


Kathryn Estey
Church Administrator

Zaida Cooper

John Rosette
Front Office Receptionist

Erin Tafuri
Development Assistant


Jason Chapman
Facilities Manager

Kamal Sunuwar
Senior Sexton

Holli Nicknair
Rental Manager